Forces in Ethiopia’s Tigray region said troops from neighboring Eritrea launched a “large-scale offensive” on Tuesday and that heavy fighting was underway in several areas along the border.
Reuters was unable to immediately verify the account on Twitter of Getachew Reda, a spokesman for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
The TPLF has been fighting Ethiopian federal forces and their allies for nearly two years.
Eritrean troops moved into Tigray to support the Ethiopian army after fighting broke out in November 2020, before withdrawing from most areas last year.
“Eritrea deploys its entire army, as well as reservists. Our troops are defending their positions heroically,” Getachew said.
Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
If confirmed, the offensive would escalate a war that has displaced millions of people and caused a humanitarian disaster in northern Ethiopia.
Getachew said Ethiopian troops and special forces from the Amhara region had also joined the offensive.
A spokesman for the Ethiopian government, Legesse Tulu, a military spokesman, Colonel Getnet Adane, and Prime Minister’s spokesman Billene Seyoum, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Gizachew Muluneh, a spokesman for Amhara’s regional government, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Saturday, the Canadian government warned that Eritrea was mobilizing military forces over the resumption of fighting in Tigray.
Yemane confirmed over the weekend that some reservists had been called up, but said the government was not mobilizing the entire population.
The conflict in Tigray broke out again on August 24, breaking a ceasefire that had been in effect since March. Earlier this month, Tigrayan forces said they were ready for a ceasefire and would accept an African Union-led peace process.